ETx man's death gives life to North Texas woman - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETx man's death gives life to North Texas woman

Jan Schmitt, Justin's mother. Jan Schmitt, Justin's mother.

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - Shebra Collins wouldn't have missed Saturday for the world! She drove from Fort Worth to Tyler to honor the people that gave her life.

"The moment I opened my eyes and I was able to hear the beating of my heart, I couldn't wait to connect with the family and say, 'thank you'."

Collins said her heart was damaged from battling lupus for 12 years. She needed a transplant to survive, and two years ago, she began screenings.

"We're in the Easter season now, and if it wasn't for God, His love for the world--He gave us His son," she said. "I can't help but parallel that to the family I've just met."

Justin McCullough of Jacksonville was 22 years old when he died of injuries he received in an ATV accident  in June 2009.

"Everyday gets a little bit easier," said Amber McCullough, Justin's wife of only one and a half years.

Amber, along with Justin's family decided to donate his organs. Two years ago, they met the man who received Justin's liver. Saturday, they met Shebra--the woman who got Justin's heart.

The families met during a special reception at the Tyler Rose Garden hosted by the Southwest Transplant Alliance.

"It's just a good feeling," said Jan Schmitt, Justin's mother.

"I don't really know how to describe it," said McCullough.

"There are no words to describe the wonder of having someone else live in me, live through me," said Collins.

Justin's organs have helped save four lives.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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